Persona or Targetgroup?
‘Leon is a young men in his twenties who has an internship while in his last year of the Study Communication. He has a steady girlfriend (for the last two months) who is also an intern but in a big department store in Paris. Leon likes to go dancing. But he doesn’t have much money to spend. He prefers ‘hard-core’ music and has a fitting, bold haircut. He also wears a tatoo, but in a place that is less obvious. He shares his apartment with his girlfriend who is also into hard-core music and has an outspoken reddish hairdo.
Do you know Leon? I don’t. I’ve just invented him today as a person who represents a certain target group. So a ‘persona’ is the same as a target group? No, not quite. Just like with a target group a Persona has certain traits. You can think of demographic traits (gender, age, education, income, domicile) however with a Persona there are more relevant traits. In his case we’ve mentioned ‘values’ and hard-core music as important traits in the life of Leon and his girlfriend.
Leon is a Persona, a description of a person who carries all relevant traits of a certain target group. He has been made recognizable so his traits are no longer abstract. This avoids different interpretations of combinations of traits. So by choosing a representative of a certain target group, everyone in the organization (pub, restaurant, festival) knows who is ment and what is important to this person, i.e. target group. The persona is easier to target (think of content and media channel).
Depending on how you define a Persona, you can give a better description of his stage in life, or even the Lifestyle that is appropriate for the target group. The AIO principle can also be applied: Activity, Interest and Opinion. But you can also aim for specific definitions like the one used for festivals. For instance an innovator, a thinker, a believer, etc. You can also apply drivers like ‘basic drivers’ (need driven) or the need for selfdevelopment (inner-directed) or a certain financial advantage.
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